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Foreign currency deposits now accepted on expat mortgages

Ipswich Building Society has updated its expat residential mortgage lending criteria to now allow applications from British nationals living overseas whose deposit has been saved in their current country of residence*; previously the entirety of the applicants’ deposit for the purchase had to be held in a UK-based bank account for a minimum of six months.

Foreign currency deposits will be accepted on purchase and remortgage products for both residential and buy to let products for properties located throughout England and Wales. Applicants can apply directly or via intermediaries who are either based in the Society’s heartland area** or members of selected networks and clubs.

The move is aimed at supporting more British nationals who live overseas and follows the product refresh earlier this year which extended the terms for residential applications to include those who are paid in one of ten selected foreign currencies.

Commenting on the new deposit terms for the expat mortgage range, Richard Norrington said: “Juggling multiple currencies is a perpetual headache for many expats. We hope that by allowing deposits in foreign currencies, we’ll be able to remove one of the complications for British nationals who want or need to retain property in the UK.”

New foreign currency deposit criteria

The deposit must be held in an account in the name of either of the applicants (or a joint account in their names) and the applicant must provide evidence of the build up or source of the deposit i.e. by providing savings/bank statements, evidence of a previous property sale etc.

Applicants for residential mortgages must be paid in one of the following currencies: GBP, Euro, Swiss Franc, Norwegian Krone, US Dollar, Canadian Dollar, Singapore Dollar, Hong Kong Dollar, UAE Dirham, Kuwaiti Dinar, Qatari Riyal and applicants must be employed by a recognised international employer (i.e. a large multinational firm).

Buy to let applicants can be paid in any currency as the rental income is used to assess affordability. Deposits must be from the applicant’s own resources (no gifted deposits accepted) and the funds must be transferred to a UK-based bank account in the name of either of the applicants (or joint account in both their names) prior to application.

Fixed and discount options are available on a two-year basis plus a five-year fixed rate is available. Residential products are available up to 80% Loan To Value (LTV) and buy to let at 75% LTV. Loans are available from £75,000 to £500,000 with a maximum term of 40 years. There is no maximum age limit and new build homes will be considered.

Residential applicants must have a minimum income of £40,000 GBP or equivalent, and employed, self employed, pension and investment income will be taken into account when assessing affordability.

Richard Norrington concluded: “We absolutely understand that investing in UK property is not only desirable for many expats but in some cases it is a necessity to provide a base for family.  Our manual underwriting process enables us to take a common sense approach to lending to this group, as we know that their finances are often more complex than that of a standard UK applicant.”

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